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Adria Arjona Pulls The Curtain Back On Andor's Unique Audition Process - Exclusive

When it comes to trying out for something as high-profile as a "Star Wars" project, it's not unusual for an actor to be unaware of the film or series they are auditioning for, much less the role the director has in mind for them. But thanks to the distinct casting method of "Andor" creator Tony Gilroy, actor Adria Arjona wasn't just privy to the fact that she was auditioning for the prequel series to "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" — she was also guided by Gilroy himself during the process. Ultimately, she said, it helped her land the pivotal role of Bix Caleen in the new Disney+ series.

"Andor" is the latest major project for Arjona in an already eventful 2022. She kicked off the year starring opposite Jared Leto in the Marvel supervillain film "Morbius," followed by a role in "Irma Vep" on HBO Max. Not long after, Arjona made the plunge into the "bride" role of Sofia in the HBO Max update of "Father of the Bride."

In "Andor," Arjona brings an air of mystery to Bix, who shares a murky past with Cassian Andor (Diego Luna). Both Bix and Cassian have one clear resolve, though, of defeating the evil Empire, especially after Bix suffers a deep personal loss early in the series. Set five years before the events of "Rogue One," "Andor" keys in the formation of the Rebellion and their plans to bring down the Imperials. Cassian wastes no time in getting Bix — a scrapyard mechanic — involved in the fight at the beginning of "Andor," which meant they would share major scenes that were key to establishing the tone of the series. But in an exclusive interview with Looper, Arjona shared that they didn't do extensive screen tests together before she was cast as Bix.

Arjona did only one scene with Luna before winning the part

Adria Arjona explained that her path to "Andor" began with a self-taped audition video, and once she met creator Tony Gilroy, the writer-director told her "everything that my character was going to go through [in] the majority of the season, and he explained the scenes to me." Essentially, Arjona explained, Gilroy is a firm believer in the mantra "Information is power," and told her, "I want you to succeed."

Succeed she did. In fact, Arjona said she only did one scene with Diego Luna during her audition before Gilroy made up his mind: "We finished the take, and he sends Diego off and then looks at me and goes, 'Well, welcome to 'Star Wars.' My whole brain exploded," Arjona enthused.

She said Gilroy's process was dramatically different when it comes to the normal "amount of protocols that goes into being cast. You get tested. The studio has to approve. Producers have to approve, and Tony was like, 'No' — it wasn't a testament of my performance. It's more a testament to him. He's like, 'I know that works. I want her,' and I got [the role after] about 5 minutes," Arjona noted.

She explained that joining "Andor" fulfilled one of her biggest dreams. The news of her casting came so suddenly, though, that she needed time to collect herself. "My whole body [was shaking] and I couldn't comprehend it. I was like, 'Okay, now what do I do? Now I actually have to be in it!' and all the nerves started coming," Arjona recalled. "I respect the universe so much. The second that you are in a 'Star Wars' [project], you're part of cinematic history."

"Andor" is streaming exclusively on Disney+, with new episodes premiering every Wednesday through November 23.